The best update ever from Hitlist (#6)

Greetings, beautiful people.

A few quick announcements:

  • if you’re in the Bay Area today, 22 May, I’m hosting a happier hour from 8pm ish at Victory Bar in SOMA. I’d love to see anyone who’s around!
  • if you’re in New York next Wednesday, 28 May, I’m hosting a fireside chat with Dave Pavelko (Head of Travel, Google) and Drew Patterson (CEO, Room77) at AlleyNYC (37th & 7th). More details & RSVP here – the door list will be strictly enforced.
  • Also in New York next Tuesday, 27 May, I’ll be giving a presentation about business model generation at DUMBO Startup Lab. I can’t guarantee this will be as entertaining or enlightening as the two events above, but I can guarantee I’ll be giving out Hitlist bottle openers. Tickets here: www.meetup.com/bmg-bk

UPDATES

Last month’s focus was product and team. I’m pleased to announce we’ve made two hires:

  • Tomislav Filipcic is an iOS developer whose apps have been many times featured in the App Store and in ‘Designing Great iPhone Apps’ (O’Reilly Media). He also happens to be a gifted photographer who’s been published in National Geographic. He’s hard at work building our v2… and the difference between our existing PhoneGap app and this is truly night and day. We can’t wait to share it with you all.
  • Rahul Caprihan was the senior Product Manager at Peixe Urbano, Brazil’s leading daily deals site, which he helped scale to >15m users. He was responsible for the roadmap of consumer-facing features, mobile apps, and platform API, and defined the A/B testing methodology used to improve conversion, growth, and virility (I meant virality but sometimes when autocorrect does things, you just let them be). He also makes iPhone apps for fun, like Grizlr, a handy news aggregation and filtering tool for sports fans.
– Those of you who joined us recently might not know that Hitlist came as a pivot from TripCommon, the flight search product that Timo and I worked on for a year (and Luka for a bit) before devoting our full time energy to Hitlist. Moving forward, the two will be separate legal entities – we’ve had some interest from outside parties to buyout/acquire the tech related to TripCommon and continue to build it out. We’re still not sure if and what we might sell but we’re excited by the idea of the right team taking our other baby to the next level.
– We’ve released two updates since the last email (currency localization, better deal feed), a bit behind our usual weekly schedule, but I promise it will all be worth it when our native iPhone application comes out in June
– We’ve had some nice press in The New York Times, Xconomy, 3460miles, etc.

Focus for the next month: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

We’re ready to supercharge our partnership/BD efforts. We believe we have an interesting value proposition for marketing and/or distribution leads at airlines and OTAs. If you are one of those people, or know someone I should talk to, please let me know. 

LOOKING FORWARD

June will find the whole team in Croatia again preparing for the launch of our native app (date TBA, but June or early July). Then we go on a user acquisition blitz through the summer – we’ll be asking for your help!

WHY ARE WE DOING THIS?

Because we believe in the power of travel to save the world, obviously. But we wouldn’t be able to get any investors if we didn’t also note that online travel booking on mobile devices specifically is growing over 50% yoy and is expected to reach $40bn in the US alone in 2015. That’s the kind of market size in which we like to play.

GIF OF THE MONTH

This is what we’re creating

magic gif

Thanks to all of you for all you do. It takes a village to raise a startup.

G

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